Earlier this week, Renegade Kid co-founder and Mutant Mudds creator Jools Watsham had written a post on his personal blog about the 3DS and his concerns about the potential of a rise in 3DS piracy. Watsham said even went as far to say, “If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games."
The blog entry would spark a heated debate on the subject of piracy in not only the comment section of the blog itself, but also the comment threads of the news outlets that picked it up. Now that things have cooled off a bit, Watsham has decided to further explain his position on the 3DS and the possibility of hackers manipulating it for the purposes of piracy, while also clearing up a few misconceptions about what he said.
Watsham feels some people got the impression that his blog was an attack against or even an ultimatum addressed to Nintendo. He says this couldn’t be further from the truth.
"I have always been a huge supporter of Nintendo, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS. If you have followed my vlogs, blogs, and tweets over the past 6 years you will know this.”
“I wrote this: ‘If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games.’ This does not mean I am taking a stand against piracy. This does not mean I am taking my business elsewhere in an action of protest.”
"What this means is if we cannot make money from developing games we can no longer develop games. That is what can happen if piracy gets bad. If enough people choose to illegally obtain copies of my games for free instead of paying for them, it directly affects my business and my home."
Watsham also said piracy will exist on the 3DS and he accepts it as a reality and while there isn’t a solution to piracy, he believes healthy businesses can be maintained in the gaming industry, even with the existence of illegal downloads. It’s discovering how to keep these businesses healthy that’s key.
“I don't think there is a solution to piracy. It will always exist in some form. We just need to make sure the price of games is affordable. We need to make it easy to buy and own games. The availability and access player's have to their games needs to be at least as easy and convenient as the ROM sites make it to illegally download a game file. Ideally, it should be better. If the player's only question is, "buy or not buy?", and not dealing with issues such as, "how do I transfer ownership of this game to my new system?" then we'll have minimized the appeal of piracy.”
He concluded by saying that Renegade Kid will be releasing games for the 3DS through to 2014 and one of which is Mutant Mudds 2 (yay!).
I think Jools pretty much hit the nail on the head with this post. Although, I don’t know if piracy’s appeal can be minimized per se. After all, free is always going to be a very appealing option. But making legal transactions/downloads easier and more convenient, while at the same time making customers feel appreciated, is certainly the best way to compete against it.